Why I used Notion.so as Courseware

A VPN is an essential component of IT security, whether you’re just starting a business or are already up and running. Most business interactions and transactions happen online and VPN

This is going to sound weird because I used a course on email to tell people to stop using email, but that was a major point that I wanted to get across in the Email Marketing Bootcamp course.

Let that sink in a minute.

Email is a lot of things to a lot of people. A broadcast medium, an advertising platform, a place to connect and reconnect, a business manager, a file system (you know who you are). . .
It is not, however, a project manager. I’m really going to go there and cheese folks off – it’s not even a project management tool.

Tell me if you’ve visited or lived in this little nightmare scenario.

Someone in your group sends a question via email and this super discussion ensues, but people’s comments are lost in there. There’s no real way to reach a consensus, ideas are all over the place, and no action items are handed down. Someone may decide to move this conversation to real-life and call a meeting, but now that means you’re working twice instead of once.

Enter Notion. The all-purpose tool you’ve probably never heard of.

Think of Notion as a multi-purpose tool. Example use scenarios include project management, customer relationship management (CRM), documentation, content curation, just notes. This is the platform that I recommend to clients for their team collaboration and there are a lot of reasons why, but here are five of them.

  1. Blocks and the many varieties therein.
    A block is a single piece of content that you can add to your pages in Notion. Some of the more popular blocks are text (markdown formatting is supported), checkboxes, images/groups of images, and embedded links and videos. The way this works is pretty slick and it makes it easy to create rich documents for you and your team to reference.🔥Free accounts can dig around in Notion for up to 1000 blocks, total. After that, they will need to either upgrade or overwrite existing blocks.

  2. People.
    There’s a whole profile section when you create a new Notion account and it serves a couple of purposes.
    1. It helps the folks over at Notion stay informed about who their users are and what they want to be able to do with Notion. This is great because it shows that they’re dialed in and prepared to show up for their Brand Besties.
    2. It means that you are able to manage assignments within the workspace. Enterprise users may even have multiple workspaces categorized by department or team. This means that you can have one workspace for your business and share individual documents as needed to those people that need access.

      🔥I recommend making use of the affiliate program by using your affiliate code to invite your team members to your workspace. Thus you get $5 credit to your account per paid member and they receive a $10 credit for using your code. Even without that, paid accounts are only $8/member/mo for teams paid annually or $4/mo for individuals paying annually so this program does not break your budget.

      📌One thing to note about their affiliate links is that you don’t get the credit when people sign up using a page that you share as a template rather than using your specific Notion link.

  3. Databases.
    Don’t cringe!  These are not yah mama’s databases.  They can be used within a page as an inline-block or as a page unto themselves. You can define different views with their own filtering and sorting in a few clicks. Throw that excel-looking image in your head out the window. Each row in any database is its own page and you can add rich text, links, videos, etc. just like any other page.

  4. Templates
    Anyone can create a template by making a public page with a shareable link to it. There are a variety of settings that allow you to moderate access, such as whether or not a page can be Googled, who can view or comment on the page, or if people can duplicate the page and save it to their workspaces.

  5. Speaking of pages…
    Pages are the heart of Notion.
    The sidebar shows the top-level pages and the hierarchy of subpages underneath. The software is very meta on purpose and you can inception your way to all kinds of pages within pages. Free account holders can export any single page as a pdf. Enterprise plan accounts can export the main page and subpages as pdfs all in one go. If I get around to it, I export my newsletter articles to markdown format so that I can post them to my blog.

Here’s how to get started.

An example. I created the workbook for Email Marketing Bootcamp in Notion and the campers are either redirected to the relevant lesson page, or they can use the link from the welcome email.

Once they click the link, the lesson page is loaded on notion.so. Setting up from there is a 4-step process, but the page becomes actionable once they’re done, so it’s worth it.

On Mobile

  1. Click the ellipsis (three dots) in the upper right-hand corner to Duplicate the page.

  2. Follow the prompts to login/create a Notion account Log In.

    1. Choose Continue with Google and your Gmail account will be used to sign right on in.

    2. Select Continue with Email and you will be emailed an activation code.

  3. Once you get in, Notion will walk you through the account setup and show you four (4) on-boarding tips on working with Notion from your phone. The account questions are:
    1. Name,
    2. How you heard about Notion,
    3. Type of work you do,
    4. Your primary use-case for Notion,
    5. Team Size, and
    6. Workspace name📌Optionally, you can set a custom URL and designate the domains that people can use to get into your Notion account ([email protected]).

  4. Finally, Notion will duplicate the lesson into your private workspace.

On Desktop

Users coming into Notion on a computer will find a similar user experience.

  1. Click the link in the upper right-hand corner to Duplicate the page.
  2. Follow the prompts to login/create a Notion account Log In.
    1. Choose Continue with Google and your gmail account will be used to sign right on in.
    2. Select Continue with Email and you will be emailed an activation code.
  3. Once you get in, Notion will walk you through getting your account set up and show you four (4) on-boarding tips on working with Notion from a desktop, including instructions on how to get the mobile apps.
  4. Notion will duplicate the lesson into your private workspace.

Do you think Notion is the right tool for you and your team? 

Try it today and find out

↑ yup that’s my affiliate link, so you’ll get a $10 credit at sign-up.

Using Notion for Bootcamp

When I began creating the lesson plan for Email Marketing Bootcamp, I really thought about the user experience and delivery mechanisms for worksheets and other lesson information. I worked on the course outline in Notion and as I started adapting my already Notion-based publishing process, it became clear to me that Notion was going to have to be integral in the toolset for the course. Most courses use pdfs to help you create this workflow and develop that content creation system and I get that they’re not trying to sway people and encourage their buy-in into any one platform, but I think that being unbiased is a handicap in this arena because it creates a lack of guidance for people that are more likely to be less tech-savvy and have no idea what tools can help them create that system.

Getting that shiny new pdf feels like a definite win because it’s instantly downloadable, but at the end of the day, you’re left with a bunch of papers that eventually will end up in the trash.

Paper-based systems fail fast in terms of long-term digital content creation and you do need a system. To reach your end goals and establish a lasting process, you’re going to have to develop those process muscles with repetitive, habit-forming work. The best way to create content for the digital space is to make that content in the digital space, otherwise, your thoughts and time constraints will quickly derail your efforts once you’re beyond that honeymoon phase. I personally have a crap ton of stickies with ideas around my office, in my purse, random places in my house.., but they never turn into articles and posts without me putting them in a document somewhere and Notion lets me do that, create a calendar to manage what’s getting published and when, and collaborate with stakeholders like my editor in real-time in the doc without doing a bunch of extra steps.

At 1500 words or so, you can tell that I’m really drinking the kool-aid with Notion and I hope that you’ve gotten ideas on how you might use Notion in your business. Feel free to email me if you’re mulling around a scenario and want some advice. I test out productivity and collaboration tools all the time and there might be something more suited for your team than Notion.

This article was originally sent to subscribers to my weekly email, Technobalance. I also include information and discount codes for upcoming Boss Level Biz events and freebies there as well, so sign up below if you’re interested in that sort of thing!

TTFN & Stay Safe!


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About RJ

I am a digital consultant. I help small to medium business owners improve their digital presence, processes and workflows.

My laptop is not actually my conjoined twin, even if my kids think so. When I am not working, I am kept busy by my tribe.


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